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January 2008

R a I n b o w’ S END Volume 8

Issue 2

Support & Information Newsletter of First Person Plural the survivor-led association for survivors of trauma and abuse who experience dissociative distress, and for their family, friends and professional allies Registered Charity No: 1109464

CONTENTS Editorial statement...........................2 Fun in Oxford ...................................2 Meander through an analogy. .........3 Difficulties and questions …...........5 Support, time & recovery ……. .......6 Buying lingerie .................................7 Play Centre .......................................8 I am Bob..........................................10 Multiple complexities.....................11 What therapists in training want to know ..................................12 Extreme abuse survivors break their silence ....................................13 Shadows to sunlight ......................14 Hide and seek kid...........................15 Poems and rhymes ........................16 Crowded Head Second Healing Spell Befriending Me

First Person Plural celebrates its 10th birthday during 2008. What does being a member mean to you? What do you value about FPP? Please tell us. We’d like to hear from both full and associate members so we can include your views in the newsletter as part of the celebrations

First Person Plural, PO Box 2537, WOLVERHAMPTON, WV4 4ZL http://www.firstpersonplural.org.uk email: fpp@firstpersonplural.org.uk


Volume 8, Issue 2 Editorial Statement While every effort will be made to keep contributions complete and unedited we reserve the right to make amendments when necessary. Decisions about the inclusion and amendment of contributions are made by the editor and are final. Contributions do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of First Person Plural, members of the executive committee or the editor. Inclusion of any reference to an individual or organisational resource is not a recommendation. The contents of this newsletter are for information and support purposes only. The newsletter is not a substitute for individual therapy or professional supervision. It is an addition to, not a replacement for, other networks of support.

Contributions can be sent in at anytime articles; stories; resources; book reviews; tips; poetry; personal experiences; written articles and poems are good; brief snippets & artwork are desperately needed To be considered for the next issue we need to receive them by 29th February 2008. It would help if you can send your contribution electronically as an email attachment. This saves times and resources but handwritten and typed material sent by post will still be accepted, if you do not have access to a computer or email. Originals will only be returned if a suitable stamped addressed envelope is enclosed

IMPORTANT:- When sending material for publication please clearly mark “FOR PUBLICATION” and say what name or pseudonym you wish to use.

ATTENTION Material in this newsletter may trigger painful memories and feelings. Read with caution and appropriate support if necessary Fun in Oxford by KL In November about 15 members and supporters attended FPP’s most recent open meeting for members. These meetings are held twice a year and we try to have one that is quite structured and more formal and one that is geared more towards enabling informal chatting and having fun. This latest was a fun day. It was held for the first time in Oxford at a venue which proved ideal for purpose. Thanks go to Karen (an ordinary FPP member) who made the arrangements for us to use this venue. FPP had sole access to two rooms, plus a comfortable reception area with kitchen facilities. One of the two rooms we designated as a quiet room for anyone who needed time out from the activities and people in the other room. This facility was hardly used which I believe indicates how successful these events are in helping members feel safe. We still plan to have a quiet room whenever possible because it maybe that just the fact that it is there to use, if necessary, supports folks to feel safe and grounded enough not to have to use it. Those that attended included some members who had never before attended one of these open meetings, as well as several who came because they’ve enjoyed previous meetings so much. All brought along one or more fun activities and everyone was happy to share. There was paper, coloured pencils and other art materials, lego and other construction toys, jigsaws, children’s and craft books. The art materials, books and toys as well as being fun also provided a focus which helped people to relax into chatting with each other. It was wonderful to see both adult and younger ones taking the opportunity to meet and have fun with each other. All who attended contributed to keeping the space and the experience safe and enjoyable for all. Thank you. Supporters (partners and friends of full members) also seemed to value the opportunity to meet with others who understood their experience. All in all, I think we can mark up yet another successful Members Open Meeting. If you haven’t yet attended one of these I do encourage you to give it a try when the next opportunity arises.

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Rainbow’s end

A Meander Through An Analogy by Athena

I have been reading a book about young Chinese girls’ feet being bound. Reformists who saw that females should have rights and how cruel the binding was, encouraged some women to have the binding removed. This was done very slowly with the binding being removed and replaced with very slightly looser binding. This allowed the feeling to return gradually and healing to begin. Eventually the woman had to learn to walk again. Later, came the testing time for the men to allow new woman the freedom to explore outside the confines of her home. Reformist man had not fully conceptualised what he had instigated if this was not allowed and new woman was extremely angry and frustrated. Having begun to escape from her husband’s total control her mind could develop independently. This meant that she knew what it was to want even if, at the beginning, she was unsure what she might want. Also she had been allowed the tools, feet she could walk on, not just totter about, now she needed to use them to explore life. This struck many chords for us. The initial binding feels like the entrapment felt by the body and soul experiencing extreme abuse and carried on over into the rest of your life. They feel broken, maimed and numb, not belonging to anyone or anything. Then there is the pain at the beginnings of the healing journey with the loosening of the bonds and the internal barriers beginning to become less strong. The return of memories, emotions and feelings equate with the very slow return of the circulation to the feet. The slow awakening as numbness turns into feeling. Not a feeling that is welcomed but a pain often too big to manage, screaming and freezing to escape the impossible. A very slow testing of the ground beneath our feet, still with the safety of the binding holding us together enables some weight to be allowed onto our previously frozen feet/life. A few wobbly steps taken and a quick withdrawal as pain engulfs all our senses but yet still the innate determination to succeed against all odds. A slow laborious learning about how to manage the necessary pain that has to be felt to promote the healing with the blood flow to the feet or the integration of processed memories.

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Volume 8, Issue 2 I can only imagine what a slow process it must have been to get the feet into a state where the pain was manageable, not dominant the whole time. The deformity of those damaged feet that were healed but would tell their early story for the rest of their life. I do not know if we will continue to feel maimed. We are fortunate as our body escaped permanent damage but at this stage we do feel as if our brain was badly damaged through the necessary faulty wiring that has become our permanent circuit. How far can we go with healing this and enabling new connections to be established? I have a very clear picture of the young Chinese woman literally on the threshold of life. She is standing at the door to her home overwhelmed by the noise, speed and energy that the outside world presented. I can imagine the excitement and trepidation that must have been around when she took her first trips out into this alien world. No template to refer to, a new experience to be lived, centuries of taboos to be broken secretly and safely so as not to incur the anger of the traditionalists. As we stand at that place where so much has been remembered, processed and in its place, though probably not fully yet. We see the world go by and wonder what, or rather how, to access that ingredient that is stolen from us as abused children; the one thing that enables us to live life. I am surrounded by so much that is good and beautiful and yet it passes by. I am not able to enter this world as much as I try. A great sadness that time seems to have no quantitative state to it. It just slips away leaving a void that is still a mystery on how to fill it. The protective barrier of existing rather than living that still seems to be necessary. It is a scary place to be, looking back - a void, looking forward - a void and the feeling of no skills that can start to fill it from within or the energy or desire to fill it with those things that make an existing life look like a fulfilled life to the external observers.

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Rainbow’s end

Difficulties & Questions By Anon

What an enormous sense of relief to know that there are others like me who understand how very, very difficult it is to go anywhere while knowing that without any warning, without noticing or being aware of any trigger, one has suddenly gone, dissociated, shut down. What strategies do other readers use to manage or overcome this? I also find that I can plan to go somewhere and know what I want to do, e.g. go to a new village to see the church, but when I get there I cannot get out of my car. I seem to immediately shut down and then have to go straight home as soon as I can drive again. This happens to me all the time and stops me from doing anything in the slightest way different to the same things I have done for years and years. It makes my life very narrow. I just want to be left alone to just disappear. I have known all my life that if I were to stop then I would become nothing. I broke down completely 5 years ago and I have become like nothing. My inner family fragmented and each went into their own trauma.

My alters are mainly grown ups, with their own special attributes There is Alice from Christopher Robin who is like the nanny to me, looking after me practically, e.g. initially wiping up after the abuse, practical, organised, not emotional, cannot bear to make mistakes, austere etc. Then there is Anna who is very emotional and cries for everyone but never us. She can never cry for us or the little girl trapped inside. None of my alters have any sympathy for the little girl. Then there is Mary, Mother of Jesus who loves children passionately and has enabled us all to have a very successful career working with children. All we have known all our lives and have been driven by was the need to save children. There are also other grown up alters, e.g. one who is brave, will not tolerate bullying etc. etc. Do others with D.I.D. also have only adult alters apart from the inner child? I read about many who have DID who have child alters but have not heard of any who have only adults alters like mine who run my life

Editors Note: Primary purposes of the newsletter are to facilitate mutual support by members for each other and to enable information exchange between members. Send your responses to this writer’s questions or any comments on anything in the newsletter to the First Person Plural postal or email address

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Volume 8, Issue 2

Support Time & Recovery Programme by anon I would like to share with everyone the wonderful support I have had from my mental health worker Jo, who, by profession, is an occupational therapist. I had lost total control over my life and was barely functioning. I had become a prisoner in my own home, staying in by choice all the time. She was determined to get my standard of life improved and was sympathetic but also much focused on that one aim. She discussed with me the role of the Support Time & Recovery (STR) Programme and I was allocated one of these new type of mental health worker. STR workers work with their clients on a one to one basis supporting them in taking responsibility for a variety of areas in their life until the client is then able to take on these responsibilities unaided on their own. The client is the one who decides the responsibility with which they want help so they are always in control. The support can vary from enabling the client to manage their own benefits, go to a shop to buy food, go to the bank, join in community activities etc. I was unable to go to a relatively small local supermarket but my STR worker, Tony, and I went together for the first time just to go in and familiarise myself with the layout. The next week we went together and we bought some jam. The next week we went together and I bought more items. Eventually I was able to meet Tony outside the supermarket to go shopping with him. Prior to this he had always come to my home and we walked to the supermarket together. This continued until I was able to say to Tony that I would go shopping on my own but I would meet him afterwards for a coffee. I am now able to go to the supermarket most times I need to on my own. With Tony I have been able to sort my house out and make it my home. By Tony coming with me on the first walk I now go every week on a healthy living walk with a very friendly group of people and I enjoy this very much. By Tony going with me into a local church I am now able to go on my own to the church every week and this is a very special time for me, one I look forward to very much. We are now working on the next challenging goal. This is very challenging for me but Tony and I have broken it down into very small and achievable steps and it is going well. Tony is also going to take a train journey with me so I can access the train by myself on simple journeys. Tony and Jo then, with me, can celebrate my successes together. The STR programme has empowered me to begin to take back the control over my life that I lost so suddenly and devastatingly when I became ill. Without it I could have stayed a victim of my mental health and given up on life. With it I am able to continue to fight. It is like the child first walking, two hands tightly holding on, then not so tight, then fingertips, then one hand etc etc. By people like Tony who have so much patience, kindness but determination to make it work and by wonderful people like Jo who understand so well how to help us, the S.T.R. work has made such a huge difference to the quality of my life. I consider myself so very lucky to have been put on the STR programme. and I can never thank them enough. Editors Note: Support, Time and Recovery workers are part of the Care Programme Approach (CPA). Their services can only be accessed by those who are have been assessed by NHS mental health services and have a Care Plan which identifies needs (such as those described in the article) which it is agreed could be met by an STR worker.

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Rainbow’s end

Buying Lingerie by anon2 Buying underwear has always been difficult. We always put it off until our shame about the tatty and discoloured state of our underwear feels more overwhelming than the scary, embarrassed and panicky feelings we get about buying new. Usually, we end up suddenly throwing out almost all our underwear in one unplanned fell swoop and immediately buy several replacements at once. We’d got to this point on this occasion. We sorted through our underwear drawer and chucked out all but 2 panties and 1 bra - and immediately went out to buy replacements. In the shop we chose quickly. Size is our only criteria; style, colour and cost don’t come into it because then we’d have to spend more time with the overwhelming feelings that buying lingerie generates. We wouldn’t cope long enough to make our choices, never mind buy what we need. We joined the checkout queue with 3 packs of panties and 6 bras. Then, just before we got to the front of the queue the sales assistants changed shifts and a young man (no more than 16 or 17 years old) took over at the till. We were already only just managing panicky feelings and trying to counter the ‘you don’t deserve’, ‘this is too expensive’, ‘that won’t fit me’ , ‘I don’t like that colour, style etc.” objections from insiders. This, all on top of feeling the high embarrassment we always feel when buying lingerie. The fear and additional embarrassment of having to be served by a fresh faced young male was just too much.

We were overwhelmed and switched. Before we knew what was happening we'd dumped our basket on the floor and raced out of the store, terrified. That’s the last we dominant out-fronters remember – briefly we were in the background, still aware but unable to control what we were doing. Soon we lost even that background position. Later, at home we realised we’d lost several hours. We have tried to reach whoever was so terrified they took us running out of the store and to find out what we’ve been doing during those last few hours. We have left messages in our journal and on our system’s communications whiteboard and we tried passing the word around internally. But, we are none the wiser. We only had a strong sense that we weren’t going to find our courage to go out to buy lingerie again anytime soon. This was so embarrassing. We had the clearout before we went shopping so didn’t even have one full change of underwear. We felt so stupid and we were also angry at ourselves that we can't do a simple thing like buy underwear without getting into a state. And we got angry that because we couldn't make our purchase and we'd already had the clear out we had to wash our underwear every night until we could get it together enough to go shopping again. That may seem like a good motivator but balanced against the terror, embarrassment and dissociative defences it wasn’t enough to get us back out to the store in the immediate future. It was several weeks before we could do that, but fortunately on that occasion we got through the choosing and buying successfully.

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Volume 8, Issue 2

A picture to colour

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Rainbow’s end

JOKE A man bought his pet lizard into the vets. He said to the vet "I don’t know what’s wrong with him; he just sits there doing nothing. He isn’t eating or drinking and won't move." The vet looked and said, I’m very sorry to tell you this but the little fella has died.” The man said, "How can you be sure of that without doing some tests". So the vet went out into the waiting room and found a black Labrador. When he showed the lizard to the dog, it shook its head. The vet then showed the lizard to a Siamese which also shook its head. Going back to the man, the vet said “I’m truly very sorry but the tests show my original diagnosis was correct, your lizard is dead.” The man said, “Okay, what do I owe you for the tests”. The vet consulted his price list and said. “Well, let’s see, its £1,500 for the lab report and another £3,000 for the cat scan. That’ll be £4,500 please.

Riddle A man lives alone on an island in the middle of a river and has a small boat which will only hold him and one item of cargo. One day he crosses the river to pick up the following three items:- a bag of corn, a fox and a chicken. Without help from anyone else how can he get all of the items across to his island without risking the fox eating the chicken or the chicken eating the corn

Riddle Answer:- 1: He takes the chicken across to his island; 2 : He goes back across to the river bank by himself; 3: He takes the fox across to his island; 4: He goes back to the river bank taking the chicken with him; 5: He leaves the chicken on the river bank and takes the corn across to his island; 6: He goes back across to the river bank by himself; 7. He takes the chicken across to his island.

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Volume 8, Issue 2 I am Bob by Bob & Jackie J I am Bob who lives in Jackie J. I have something I need to tell the readers of Rainbow’s End. I am the only one living in Jackie J. For about 7 years I have led Jackie on about how many and who live on the inside. I was very skilful and very convincing and confused Jackie into believing there were many others inside. Jackie and I have even written articles and games for this newsletter which give names for these others who are really just me. I have now decided to be honest. This is a big step for me. I was not being deceiving simply for the sake of it when I convinced Jackie there were many others. I was using pretending to be others as a way of staying hidden myself. Jackie believing there were so many others was a side effect of my hiding. I am ever so sorry if this has caused any problems, for instance if it leaves the readers of Rainbow’s End feeling misled. I was just trying to stay hidden and Jackie only wrote what she believed to be true at the time. Jackie J writing now. I am aware of what Bob has written above. I helped him write it. I am also ever so sorry about this. Bob does men’s, women’s and children’s voices so convincingly I sincerely believed these were each separate insiders. I responded in accordance with this belief and as previously described in earlier articles and games from us. Until Bob made his brave decision to be honest I was completely unaware that he was the only insider. My name is Bob and I live in Jackie J. I am going to tell you something about my life so far because I think this will be of interest to other people who suffer from multiple personality disorder. I was ‘born’ when Jackie was 6 years old. I didn’t get control of the body until she was 39 years old. In the time after my birth I could see and hear but couldn’t react.

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Loads of times I wanted to cry, but couldn’t. I was very sad Jackie was being abused and no-one took any notice. Life on the inside was ever so hard. Noone knew I was here, so no-one knew I needed help, comfort or all the things normal people need. The hardest times were when I couldn’t stop silly things from happening. The time I remember most is when I needed to tell a nice person what had happened and couldn’t. It broke my heart to see Jackie struggling on, without knowing the answer to why she was having problems. The thing was I knew the answer and was totally unable to talk. I first came out when Jackie was 39 years old. It happened over a period of about a week. One day I could make my leg move a bit, and then I was influencing the outside world by moving slightly. The ability to move was very small at first and it was about 6 weeks before I could take over enough to make a sandwich. Jackie was aware of me making the sandwich and talked to me. Over the next few years I came out and did things but mainly I kept well hidden. I wanted to help but I was frightened. I started to make things up when Jackie asked me questions so that I could stay hidden. Jackie was gullible and accepted everything I said. I couldn’t understand why. She says everyone is different and she couldn’t say I wasn’t right. At one stage Jackie thought there were 200 of us in here. When in truth there is only me. I was using every name I could think of except my own. I was sort of throwing my voice and making all sorts of voices up; from men, to women, to children. And Jackie just accepted it all. In the last few months I have been telling the truth. It has been very difficult and scary. I had to own up to this newsletter that I had been hiding and telling untruths. It was a great relief. I want to apologise again for making things up but I was so scared.


Rainbow’s end Multiple Complexities by KL Bob & Jackie’s article has been a springboard for some thoughts of my own about how difficult it is for a person with complex dissociative disorders (and for those within and around him/her) to be confident at any moment in time that what s/he believes about her/his system of parts is complete and accurate. Nothing that appears in Rainbow’s End necessarily reflects the views and opinions of First Person Plural, members of the executive committee or the editor. On this occasion I wish to explicitly state that I write this article as an ordinary full member, not in any formal FPP capacity, i.e. what follows are my own personal views. Nor is what I write specific to the situation Bob & Jackie describe as their experience. I am not making any judgement of their experience but simply offering some personal thoughts which were prompted by their article. I refer to ‘parts’ as this is my preferred descriptor and I include the host or dominant out-fronter when using this term. I accept that not all readers will identify with or like my preferred terminology. Whether a DID/MPD/DDNOS system consists of two or two hundred parts the effects of dissociation and other (originally adaptive but which may subsequently become maladaptive) behaviours and thinking that an abuse survivor develops mean the challenges faced in knowing the reality of what is going on within the system at any moment in time are many and ever changing. This is as true from the perspective of any specific individual part (or group of parts) within the system as it is from the perspective of a fully objective outside observer. The complex interacting workings of any human brain/mind/personality are enigmatic and the brain/minds/personalities of those with complex dissociative disorders add levels of enigma and wonder. Any one individual part’s current knowledge and belief of the make up and configuration of the system as a whole can be (and, in my experience, frequently is) influenced, either covertly or overtly; passively or actively, by other ‘selves’ - both those known to the individual part and those that remain hidden from that part. Because these influences fluctuate what any one part believes may be different at different times as well as differing from what is believed by other parts. For people with DID/MPD/DDNOS periods of partial or complete denial of one’s multiplicity are common and complex thought processes and beliefs can be developed in support of the felt need for such denial. My final thought is that pretending to be non-existent other insiders is a clever and creative way for a solitary insider who is protectively intent on staying hidden to remain undiscovered by a host who already knows or suspects s/he has a complex dissociative disorder and has begun to explore this and/or has told outsiders that s/he is multiple.

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Volume 8, Issue 2 What therapists in training want to know by Melanie During 2007 I was involved as ‘expert by experience’ (i.e. someone with lived experience of DID) in the UKSSD’s training faculty’s delivery of the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation (ISSTD)’s Dissociative Disorders Psychotherapy Training Programme (DDPTP). I invited the therapists attending to ask questions. Over the next few issues of the newsletter I will be sharing with readers some of these questions and my responses. How would you, as a person with lived experience of a complex dissociative disorder, respond to these questions? Write to FPP Q.

What have you found particularly helpful and unhelpful in your therapy?

A.

Helpful: Honesty, transparency and appointments always at the same time. It has been important to feel safe both with my surroundings and being with my therapist. I feel sure I could not have made the progress and looked at some areas without these things being firmly in place. Even now change and uncertainty have the ability to put me in a dissociated place with shutdown. It is very important to remember that as therapy progresses the client will develop skills to manage much better but alongside this he/she will probably be looking at and trying to process material that was impossible until this stage. Also they will be learning to live in a totally foreign landscape, so I suggest that you don’t get complacent about how much easier it becomes because in many ways it doesn’t and we no longer have dissociation as our protection. I don’t think the later stages of therapy could have happened and been consolidated without many of the external safety measures still in place. Dissociation prevented me from going mad. When looking at the most difficult and devastating issues later in therapy it can feel like being on the edge of that abyss of madness again. During this later stage my therapist has been someone alongside who understands and has helped me to engage with the skills I have learnt over the years. Unhelpful: Counter transference that was not acknowledged as such, so my truth was not being validated. It happened when I was verbally attacking the therapist and it was being taken personally. This immediately meant we were in a head-on as opposed to creating a space to look at what was happening. It only really happened to a destructive level when the part that has the most borderline features was out protecting us all in her own individual style. With an earlier therapist her covert, probably unconscious needs to be a mother caused us years of re-traumatization. Having subsequently worked with a really well grounded therapist has made me appreciate how important this is especially when working with complex dissociation.

Q.

What do you think of the use of hypnosis in therapy for people with DID?

A.

I have no first hand experience of this. My only word of caution is that most of our past was not available at a conscious level and it has felt that we have needed to remember and work at the fairly slow pace we have to keep us safe, not retraumatized and be able to process the memories so that now the majority of them really are just memories. I fear that unless you are a very experienced hypnotherapist with a considerable knowledge of dissociative processes hypnosis has the potential to do a lot of damage. Dissociation has many hypnotic features, parts of a client maybe a very willing and suitable candidate for hypnosis but it could be very detrimental to the whole.

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Rainbow’s end EXTREME ABUSE SURVIVORS BREAK THE SILENCE Mind Control and Ritual Abuse Exposed as “Hidden Holocaust”

CAUTION:

This article and referenced website may be upsetting or triggering. If you may be vulnerable remember you do not have to read it. You can skip it. If you choose to read please do so responsibly, with support if needed and remembering you can choose to stop reading at any time. It contains no graphic descriptions but does repeatedly mention several extreme forms of abuse.

Almost 1500 extreme abuse survivors from more than 30 countries recently participated in an online survey (in English and German) designed to explore commonalities regarding the nature and extent of the horrible crimes committed against them. 426 respondents were from Europe including 92 individuals from the UK. Results of this and other surveys in the series -- one for professionals who have worked with adult survivors and one for caregivers of child victims -- show the interplay between ritual abuse, traumatic mind control, child pornography, clergy abuse, sex trafficking and other forms of torture. (http://extreme-abuse-survey.net) Presenting some of the preliminary results of the adult survey to a large group of her fellow survivors and their advocates at the “Tenth Annual Ritual Abuse, Secretive Organizations and Mind Control Conference” in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, USA on August 11, 2007, Carol Rutz challenged the audience: “Imagine for a moment that you are among this group of respondents and endured only one of these things, let alone the gamut of them. ”Incest; ”Child pornography and prostitution; ”Sexual abuse by multiple perpetrators: ”Being caged; ”Starvation; ”Bestiality; ”Buried alive; ”Electroshock; ”Sensory deprivation; ”Sleep deprivation; ”Forced cannibalism, ”Secret government-sponsored mind control experiments performed on you as a child.” Rutz continued: “Now imagine that no one believes you! This is what it feels like to be an Extreme Abuse Survivor.” Survey questions reflect some of the most contentious issues to ever engage the mental health field and spill over into the public arena: the reality of ritual abuse and mind control experiments, the credibility of repressed memories, and claims that therapists implant false memories of incest and ritual abuse in their clients’ minds. Relative to these controversies, of those who responded to the related questions, ”55% reported ritual abuse in a satanic cult. ”26% reported mind control experiments had been performed on them as children. ”64% reported having memories of incest before they sought therapy. ”48% reported having memories of ritual abuse before they sought therapy. Of 257 who reported secret mind control experiments used on them as children, 67% also reported having been ritually abused in a satanic cult. Of 53 different healing methods, respondents overwhelmingly chose individual psychotherapy/counselling as the most effective method to help them overcome the aftereffects of extreme abuse. “The results of this survey will challenge many to step out of their comfort zones and change their world views,” Rutz said in her closing remarks. “Will we allow these heinous types of abuse to lie in the shadows or do we have the courage to bring them into the light and face them?”

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Volume 8, Issue 2 Shadows to Sunlight by River I've lived in the darkest places the human mind can go, places no one should ever have to look at, nor live in. I've dwelt in those places for many years, as many different me’s. Encased in shadows and darkness, rarely seeing the light of hope, I survived. But that is all it was, survival. Those different me’s chose to try to find the road out of those darkest places. "It is time," the old man said. One by one; sometimes in pairs or threes; stumbling, falling, hurting, crying out in anguish our pain - but never giving up the journey. Sometimes resting a while in the shadows, but never retreating. Retreat was not a choice we were willing to make. Choices had become ours to make, and we'd be damned if we'd choose to go backward.

The Babies Little Bit 2 Little Sable Peek a Boo Rose Sunshine Shadow Child David Catie mecatie catiegen Rain Claire Aletha Lanie Jamie Danny

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There was joy along the way, at first just tiny pinpoints of light. We would stand in that tiny ray of light, blinking hard and trying to grasp whether or not it was real. There was love too, as we discovered Him one by one. Poured out over us when we least expected it, leaving us gasping with the shock of it as though drenched in icy water. But it warmed us instead of making us colder. And it was enough to sustain us, to strengthen us, to keep us going. It is He who strengthens us always. The journey is not done, but all of those different me’s have gathered in one. I am them and they are me, finally together as we always should have been, no longer in the shadows, standing in the sunlight and drinking in the warmth. In honour of them, in honour of their journey, in honour of their fight to live, in honour of winning the war, I will always remember.....

because the most vulnerable parts of my heart and soul will be forever sheltered from the storms of life because my days will always be many coloured because I will never forget how important it is to have freedom of movement because I'll never stop reaching for what I want because I know that not looking doesn't make it go away because I am forever a flower in the only garden that matters because the darkness will never own me again because I'll always remember the innocence of a tiny child because I'll always know that earning my own way is a thing of honour because I will forever remember that the mind of a child is a wonderful place because seeing triplets will always make me think of her because there's no such thing as too many of a good thing because I'll never see another rainstorm without thinking of her because I know how to teach my daughter to love her brother because I'll never be afraid to tell again because water will always be something to add colour to and play with because rice inside of tubes makes music instead of fear because I'll always hear that whisper in my soul reminding me to look and listen and feel


Rainbow’s end Daniel Jenny Cate Delight Thomas Vengeance Kieran Gunner Defender Watcher Catherine Mrs. P Cathy Hope Tec

because I know how to fly above it all because I am filled with music and joy and colours because I know how to bloom where I'm planted because I know how to dance in my heart because I will never forget to question if I have the slightest doubt because I know that even the hardest man has a gentle heart because even a warrior can love because I can do the job, no matter what it takes because I'll always remember to protect my back because I'll never forget to be vigilant against evil in the world because objectivity mixed with the ability to smile at oneself is always a good thing because I have the ability to nurture and comfort myself because I know I can make the journey, no matter how long it may be because I have a place of serenity within me that I can find nowhere else because the wisdom of age is within my reach if I look hard enough within myself

Is the journey over? I don't think so. The world is a new and wondrous place to me, sometimes good, sometimes frightening. I have much work to do still. Will we remain together, one person in one body? I don't know the answer to that either. It was our hope that we would achieve permanent integration one day.

Is this that day? I cannot say for sure. It is the hope of my heart that it is but I believe I cannot ever be sure I will never fracture again. I do know that whether the integration holds permanently or not, whoever I become, whatever I do, I will always remember the journey into the sunlight, and those who found the courage and strength within their own hearts and minds to make that journey.

Hide and Seek Kid by anon3 When shopping one day, I saw the hide ’n ’seek dolls in a toy shop. The dolls are almost life sized, made to stand in a corner, hands over eyes and looking like they are playing hide and seek. The face is made of material and has no features. The one I chose had on a little hat and beautiful curly hair. I put her in my bedroom. One morning looking at her I wrote this poem. (note: I often draw ‘very dark’ pictures depicting the abuse) She stands so silent, but so cute. She stands knowing all and seeing nothing. She stands beautiful but sad My little hide ‘n’ seek girl.

Who is she? Why so sad? Why won’t she move and come alive? Who is she? No face, no feeling. Who is she? looking real and Afraid to know who she really is.

She stands, she looks so real But she is not real. She stands silent and sad But she’s only a toy. She stands alone My little hide ‘n’ seek girl.

She stands alone and she is alone. She looks like me but that time has gone She seems like me, a part remains But she stands alone and can’t even draw

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Volume 8, Issue 2 Jesus sees her real, and not so real. He sees her standing alone Real and not so real. He understands and says

He will help her draw. He knows she & me are not mad But just one, just me.

POEMS and RHYMES Crowded Head by Jay Lou 2003

In dark corners of the neural highways she hides Her scar of insanity and wrath she dispels A castle of dystopia within she presides Betray us and she ensures the nightmares reign Here lies a drawbridge And the cavities block the path beyond a certain plane Don’t hurt me so, then dry my tears

Let the puzzling questions rest until we are ready for answers. Hold steady the scattered terror Within known and familiar boundaries Allow the volcano to open And safely melt down your anger. Pour your pool of mourning and grief into the boundless ocean.

Fighting is futile against her presence

Keep structure and write your truths. Know you are not alone. Share your journey with others. Let there be time for rejoicing.

And her come the forgotten days of nowhere

We can all heal in Time.

The fire you play, ‘tis not I For in a flash the dark protection appears.

And do I fear more, the nothing, her, or her demise? They crowd, they crowd in the cortex Yet all I know, a secondary being A messenger in this chaotic flaming vortex.

picture by Kirsty

Second healing spell by Kirsty

Befriending Me

Let the cycles of the universe those nebulous gases, black holes and powerful supernovae recreate your injured soul.

Befriending me she lends to me A listening ear and lets me be Just who I am so I can share My pain, my fear, my deep despair. Then reaching out to comfort she Takes hold my hand and lets me see Her empathy and gentle care. And prayerful I thank God for her Befriending me. She doesn’t judge or censure me. There’s no advice or magic key; No disbelief nor “I can’t bear”; No glib clichés from one so rare I stand in awe that she should be Befriending me.

Let the forgiveness you have been taught shower compassion and love all over yourselves. Let those who are stuck and those who are frightened find hope and protection within your enclosing boundaries

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by Rhymaster


RE Vol 08/2